Vancouver: February, 2005

In March of 2004 a small Vancouver contingent committed to produce the third Performance Creation Canada Conference in Vancouver as part of  the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival 2005. We chose as our theme A New Ecology for Performance, and focused on the Interdisciplinary and Multi-disciplinary nature of much of the work in Vancouver, and on reaching out to include the performance art community in the discussion.  We set about organizing what we hoped would be a world class conference, which would show Vancouver performance in its best possible light. Owing to our excellent partnership with The Roundhouse Community Centre, we were able to focus most of our funds on bringing in national and international delegates and presenters.

Twenty-five individuals flew in under our support, and another (approx.) 15 flew in on their own coin as the momentum ensured that this would be networking opportunity of the season. One of the truly unique elements was funded by the Outreach Section of the Canada Council, and brought in the curator/programmers from all the performance art festivals in Canada for information sessions with the local community, and idea sharing about how they could better work together. This was the first time these individuals had met as a group.

The keynote speech was given by Daniel Brine from the Live Art Development Agency in the UK. He introduced Live Art to us, and helped us to contextualize it outside the boundaries of both performance art and traditional performing arts.  Panel discussions were designed to focus specific areas of interest in Vancouver-based performance work.  These included:

  1. Site-Specific Work, Public Space and Dissemination
  2. Community-Based Performance
  3. Commissioning and the Role of the Cultural Impresario
  4. Demystifying Curation

As well we presented a workshop in How to Do the Edinburgh Fringe, with delegates from Edinburgh as well as Canadian groups who had made the trek.  Our partner in this workshop was the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, who helped us promote it to the local community.

All in all the Conference was a raging success.  It helped put both PuSh and the Vancouver theatre community on the map both nationally and internationally.  As part of the conference and PuSh delegates could see NeWorld and Vancouver Moving Theatre’s Crime and Punishment, Radix Theatre’s Final Viewing, Touchstone’s The Trigger, Theatre Replacement’s The Empty Orchestra, and as well, the Vancouver Fringe’s solo festival was playing.  Many people remarked that they had no idea that there was such a variety and large amount of strong work in Vancouver.  The organization of the conference was led by Touchstone with support from Rumble and some input from the Grunt Gallery

Documents:

Vancouver Press Release PDF

Vancouver Panel and Workshop Descriptions PDF